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Photo Courtesy of Nelly

Not every beauty ingredient is well, beautiful. Many come from exotic fruits or flowers like allantoin. This natural chemical compound is produced by many organisms, bacteria, and plants. It is the main active ingredient in comfrey root. Allantoin is also just as effective and can be obtained synthetically as a white and practically odorless crystalline powder. This non-toxic, non-allergenic ingredient, both in nature and in the lab, is good for your skin and hair because it is an emollient, anti-irritant, skin-protectant, and all-around water-increasing asset with a wonder-power.

1. Soothing the scalp

This naturally soothing, anti-irritating skin protectant would be amazing with just those three attributes, but it also has the ability to increase the water content in the skin (scalp). By stimulating leukocytosis (raised white blood cell count) in the application site (skin), it enhances lymph fluid circulation. This is one of the reasons it is so widely used as a treatment of carbuncles, burns (including sunburns), scalds, acne, psoriasis, eczema, abrasions, and for the treatment of wounds.

Allantoin is an active ingredient in comfrey root that has anti-inflammatory properties. Allantoin is often added to shampoos for fighting dandruff while sanitizing and healing scalp conditions. In shampoos it is often combined with coal tar to treat scalp conditions outside of dandruff like psoriasis, seborrhea, and eczema. It soothes the scalp with the anti-inflammatory properties and coupled with the moisture retention abilities, allantoin will moisturize and soften irritated and flaky scalps.

2. Skin regeneration

It actually promotes and accelerates cell proliferation or improving skin regeneration. It is keratolytic, which means it causes keratin to soften giving the skin or scalp a softer feel. According to WebMD, allantoin is used to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly and itchy skin. Dry skin is caused by a loss of water or moisture and allantoin breaks down the keratin in skin and allows moisture to be trapped or retained.

3. Elasticity and soft hair

Allantoin improves the elasticity and softness of hair while giving it a slight glossy effect and why it is often added to conditioners and hair sprays. Being keratolytic, allantoin helps moisturize hair and scalp and softens keratin, which allows the scalp and hair to hold onto moisture. Keratin is an extremely hard protein, so by breaking it down or softening it, moisture is allowed to be retained in the hair and scalp.

4. Remove scalp flakes

Being keratolytic also allows allantoin to dissolve the materials that hold skin cells together and enables the outermost layer of the scalp to shed or slough off more easily which creates a smoother scalp surface. This makes it easier to remove inflamed, flaky, irritated skin cells. Allantoin makes it easier to remove that flaky scalp while moisturizing and soothing the new scalp underneath and retaining moisture. It makes sense why so many hair and skin products have this amazing ingredient.

Products with allantoin

Hair products with allantoin are by no means only limited to shampoos, so we’ve shared a few of them with you and it is no wonder many are loved by curlies.

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